Paul van Gerven
19 June 2020

The tech war between the US and China is a bigger threat to Europe than the coronavirus pandemic, the president of the European Chamber in China Jörg Wuttke told Reuters. “When two elephants dance it’s hard to stand aside and not be impacted,” said Wuttke. “We have complete reliance on American semiconductors, as does China. We also have a huge market in China. The ultimate worry of course is if the US or China turns to us and then says: will you please make a choice – are you going with us or against us?”.

US China

The US put Huawei on a blacklist last year, effectively barring US companies from doing business with the telecom giant. More recently, restrictions were expanded to include foreign suppliers of export-controlled US technology. This, among other things, prevents TSMC from manufacturing Huawei’s chip designs. Later this month a new rule will come into effect that requires companies with US technology to screen their customers for ties with the Chinese military.

So far, China has not retaliated.